Emerging markets will dictate energy consumption patterns, says Chevron CEO
Aspirations of consumers in emerging markets, especially middle income earners, would dictate how and at what pace lifestyles progress, thereby influencing energy consumption patterns, according to oil major Chevron’s chairman and CEO John Watson.
Speaking at the OPEC International Seminar in Vienna, Austria late on Wednesday, Watson said it was clear that much of the demand for energy will come from emerging markets, where it will be a challenge to meet the desire for a modern lifestyle.
"We're going to see billions of people entering the middle class in emerging markets over the coming years. They will want all the same things we enjoy in the modern world," Watson said.
According to the Chevron boss, $40 trillion in current prices may be needed in investment to provide sufficient energy to meet that demand up to 2040.
Watson, along with ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson, also rejected calls by European peers to introduce a price for carbon emissions, saying the region should instead focus on shale gas and nuclear power.
"I understand the concerns but I don't think putting a price on carbon is an answer... I don't think it is a policy that can be effective," Watson told OPEC delegates.
"We need to make sure we develop the natural gas resources that we have, here in Europe - although Europe is choosing not to develop its resources - but also elsewhere in the world."
"If we are serious about climate change - nuclear power would be on the agenda. We wouldn't be shutting down nuclear plants around the world," he said.
Setting a price for carbon produce per tonne by emitters is supposed to encourage so called polluters to adopt cleaner technologies and move away from using coal in particular and fossil fuels in general.